The Lok Sabha on 10 April 2017 passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017. It was passed by the house with 360 MPs voting in favour and 2 against the bill.
The Bill seeks to give constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes.
Objectives of the 123rd Amendment Bill, 2017
• The Bill seeks to insert a new Article 338B in the Constitution. The Article provides for the National Commission for Backward Classes, its composition, mandate, functions and various officers.
• The Bill also seeks to insert a new Article 342-A, which empowers the President to notify the list of socially and educationally backward classes of a state/union territory. In case of a state, President will make such notification after consultation with the Governor.
• Under the new Article 342-A, the Parliament, by making a law, can include or exclude the classes from the central list of backward classes.
About National Commission for Backward Classes
• The National Commission for Backward Classes is an Indian statutory body under the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
• It was established on 14 August 1993.
• It was constituted pursuant to the provisions of the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.
• The Supreme Court of India in its Judgement dated 16.11.1992 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 930 of 1990, Indra Sawhney & Ors. Vs. Union of India and Ors., reported in (1992) Supp. 3 SCC 217, directed the Government of India, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations to constitute a permanent body in the nature of a Commission or Tribunal for entertaining, examining and recommending upon requests for inclusion and complaints of over-inclusion and under-inclusion in the list of OBCs.
• At present, the Commission is responsible to look into the inclusion and exclusion of backward classes only.
What: Passed in Lok Sabha
When: 10 April 2017